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Michael J. Fox Foundation Gives $1.1M for Parkinson's Biomarker Development

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – The Michael J. Fox Foundation announced today it is providing about $1.1 million to two projects to develop protein candidate biomarkers for Parkinson's disease.

The two markers are alpha-synuclein and DJ-1. On the first marker, MJFF is coordinating a "series of projects" with contract research organizations to optimize assays based on the protein, it said in a statement. Mark Frasier, associate director of research programs at MJFF, will lead the research, which is being conducted with Covance, Epitomics, and Parexel International.

The foundation is also working with Covance and Un Kang, a professor of neurology and director of the Parkinson's Disease and Movement Disorders Center at the University of Chicago Medical Center, to develop DJ-1 assays.

The alpha-synuclein and DJ-1 assays will be tested as part of the foundation's Parkinson's Progression Markers Initiative, a comprehensive biomarker discovery and verification effort.

The Brin Wojcicki Foundation is also providing support for the two projects, MJFF said without elaborating.

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